Featured News

Philadelphia House Delegation unveils three new subcommittees

Pa. lawmakers propose medical debt relief bill

(Jan 23, 2023)

HARRISBURG, Jan. 23 – Seeking to ease the burden of medical debt on working families, a plan to create the Pennsylvania Medical Debt Repayment Program was unveiled today by state Reps. Arvind Venkat and Nick Pisciottano, both D-Allegheny; Bridget Kosierowski, D-Lackawanna; and Tarik Khan and Donna Bullock, both D-Phila. “As a physician, I have seen firsthand how problems with our nation’s healthcare system – including medical debt – have hurt families and prevented people from getting the care they need,” said Venkat, the first physician to serve in the General Assembly in nearly 60 years. “While there are many issues that we need to address, including the systemic problems that lead to spiraling medical debt, this bill is an important first step toward helping people across Pennsylvania get the assistance and the care they need – and not phone calls from collection agencies.” “When my son was diagnosed with childhood leukemia, the last thing I wanted to worry about was the stress of medical costs. No family in Pennsylvania should ever need to think twice before seeking care for chronic or other serious conditions for fear of going into medical debt,” Kosierowski said. “We must do whatever we can at the state level to ensure that families don’t need to choose between going to the doctor or putting food on their table or buying clothes for their children.” The lawmakers likened the newly Read more

 

Philadelphia House Delegation salutes Mayor Kenney’s critical priorities for the city as his mandate comes to an end this year

(Jan 11, 2023)

PHILADELPHIA, Jan. 11 – The Philadelphia House Delegation today expressed their endorsement for Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney’s core priorities in his final year as mayor. The delegation also highlighted their concerns and hopes for the city. “The plan introduced today by Mayor Kenney gave us optimism. I’m pleased to see that reducing gun violence and strengthening public safety are an important part of this agenda. I also laud the commitment to diversity, to improving access to quality education and to expanding affordable housing” said the delegation’s chair, state Rep. Morgan Cephas. “These goals might not be entirely achieved by the end of the year, but we are going in the right direction, there’s a strong approach from the administration to address the major issues affecting our city”, Cephas said. The mayor’s goals are explained in a report titled “Equity and Opportunity for All: Moving Philadelphia Forward.” In it, Kenney revealed four critical focus areas of the administration in an effort to guarantee Philadelphia’s immediate and long-term future success. The mayor promised to reinforce his commitment to enhancing public safety, improve quality of life and build thriving neighborhoods. His other goal will be investing in Philadelphia’s youth. Driving inclusive growth and economic opportunity while building a thriving Read more

 

Waxman sworn in for first term

(Jan 04, 2023)

HARRISBURG, Jan. 4 – State Rep. Ben Waxman took the oath of office in the state Capitol Tuesday to begin his first term representing the 182nd Legislative District in Philadelphia. The noon swearing-in ceremony marked the beginning of the 2023-24 session of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives. Waxman also has been appointed chair of the Philadelphia Delegation’s Intergovernmental Affairs Subcommittee. As the head of this subcommittee, Waxman said he plans to use his expertise in government communications to facilitate partnerships with city hall, city government organizations and nongovernmental organizations throughout Philadelphia. The subcommittee also will work with state departments and other state-related organizations to develop and analyze legislation for the benefit of the city of Philadelphia, as well as the Commonwealth. “I’m honored and looking forward to taking on the duties of being a new member of the Pennsylvania House,” Waxman said. “I know that I still have much to learn, but I plan to make sure every one of my neighbors feels represented and heard. It’s time to get to work.” Waxman’s office can help with a variety of state-related services, including home heating assistance, children’s health insurance, and prescription drug and Property Tax/Rent Rebate assistance. Residents can find out more by going to RepBenWaxman.com . Read more

 

Philadelphia House Delegation announces $7 million awarded to the city to improve traffic safety

(Jan 04, 2023)

PHILADELPHIA, Jan. 4 – The Philadelphia House Delegation today announced that $7 million in grants has been awarded to the city. The funds, distributed by the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, are aimed to improve safety at signalized intersections by providing automated enforcement at locations where data shows red-light running has been a concern. The funds will be used for the following four programs: Citywide Intersection Modifications, Modern Roundabouts, Bike Network Curb Separation and Citywide Traffic Calming. “These state grants are a wise investment and essential to improving traffic safety in the city. This money will make our communities safer for drivers and pedestrians alike by preventing fatalities and improving the flow of traffic. It is always rewarding to see that our critical priorities are getting addressed, and that our voices are being heard,” said Rep. Morgan Cephas, chair of the Philadelphia House Delegation. “We adamantly support these programs; and we must foster equity and inclusion in order to help improve the safety and quality of life in underserved communities of color. This is only part of our ongoing and integral effort to uplift traditionally disenfranchised and ignored areas of Philly. “Another aspect that we need to highlight is that the Automated Red-Light Enforcement funding is generated by Philadelphia red-light violations. Read more

 

Philadelphia House Delegation unveils three new subcommittees

(Dec 21, 2022)

PHILADELPHIA, Dec. 21 – The Philadelphia House Delegation today announced the launch of a new subcommittee structure aimed to amplify the efforts and mission of the delegation in three specific areas of work. The delegation now includes as part of its components The Philadelphia House Delegation Labor Subcommittee, the Philadelphia House Delegation Policy Subcommittee and the Philadelphia House Delegation Intergovernmental Affairs Subcommittee. Delegation Chair Rep. Morgan Cephas explains that the organization is experiencing a crucial reform that will translate to a boost across a broad spectrum of focus areas of their work. “We are all very excited and looking forward to the agendas of these subcommittees. It has never been more urgent to fulfill our mission as a delegation, as the voice of Philadelphia in the House,” Cephas said. “I must highlight that these groups are strategically led by an impeccable team of lawmakers who have made great strides in each of these territories.” Rep. Elizabeth Fiedler and Rep.-elect Roni Green have been designated chair and vice chair, respectively, of the Philadelphia House Delegation Labor Subcommittee. This group will evaluate legislation related to unions, the right to form a union, worker power, union membership and other matters relating to organized labor in the commonwealth. Fiedler has been a champion for labor Read more

 

Philadelphia House Delegation welcomes $54 million awarded to the city for bolstering law enforcement and services

(Dec 14, 2022)

PHILADELPHIA, Dec. 14 – The Philadelphia House Delegation today announced that $54,293,730 has been awarded to the city in grants. The funds, approved by the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency, are destined to enhance law enforcement, gun violence investigation and prosecution, services offered to victims of crime and more. The grants are: Criminal Justice Advisory Committee Federal American Rescue Plan Act Funds - Local Law Enforcement Support Grant Program Philadelphia City Treasurer, PPD Local Law Enforcement Support Grant, $ 25 million. Federal American Rescue Plan Act Funds - Gun Violence Investigation & Prosecution Grant Program Philadelphia City Treasurer, Phila. DAO Gun Violence Investigation & Prosecution, $20 million. Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority, SEPTA ZeroEyes Technology Pilot Project, $4,993,639. State Funds - Women’s Reentry Services Initiative Maternity Care Coalition, MOMobile Rapid Engagement, $82,352. Prevention Point Philadelphia Inc., Trauma-Informed Wholistic Reentry Program for Women, $99,998. Why Not Prosper Inc., The Why Not Prosper Women's Reentry Program, $100,000. Children's Advocacy Center Advisory Committee State Children's Advocacy Center Funds Philadelphia Children's Alliance, PCA Program Maintenance and Read more

 

Krajewski elected as vice chair to Sentencing Commission

(Dec 08, 2022)

HARRISBURG, Dec. 8 – This morning during the Pennsylvania Sentencing Commission’s regularly scheduled meeting, state Rep. Rick Krajewski, D-Phila., was unanimously elected by the members to serve as vice chair. Per new by-laws adopted during the same business meeting, Krajewski will serve a one-year term until December 2023, when he will be up for reelection. Krajewski issued the following statement: “Over the past two years while serving on the Sentencing Commission, I have gained a deeper understanding of Pennsylvania’s criminal legal system and the Sentencing Commission’s important role. I appreciate the variety of perspectives that each of the commission members brings to the work of establishing Pennsylvania’s guidelines on sentencing, parole, and probation. “In this new role as vice chair, I hope to bring my experience as a community organizer to this role. I believe I offer an important and unique community perspective both from my experience as an organizer advocating in the criminal legal space, and as someone who has family who have been involved in this system. I look forward to continue working with the members of the commission to bring this community perspective into the work of the Sentencing Commission.” Read more

 

Philadelphia House Delegation praises the release of Brittney Griner from Russian prison

(Dec 08, 2022)

PHILADELPHIA, Dec. 8 – State Rep. Morgan Cephas, Chair of the Philadelphia House Delegation, today released the following statement on the announcement that American basketball player Brittney Griner has been freed from a Russian prison. “The Philadelphia House Delegation is proud to join in welcoming Brittney Griner home from nine months of illegal and unjust detention in Russia. “The use of innocent people as political pawns by authoritarian governments is abjectly wrong and goes against everything we believe in as Americans. “I applaud President Biden and his administration for their diligent work on Brittney Griner’s behalf. We look forward to the approximately 50 other Americans, including Paul Whelan and others who are being unjustly detained overseas, to be released so they can come home to their loving families once and for all.” Read more

 

Unemployment Reforms Are Needed

(Nov 29, 2022)

Pa. state Rep. Joe Hohenstein joined the Pennsylvania Unemployment Project and Keystone Research Center to call on the incoming Shapiro administration to address much needed reforms to Pennsylvania's unemployment service. Read more

 

Philadelphia House Delegation expresses condolences after passing of Milton Street

(Nov 28, 2022)

PHILADELPHIA, Nov. 28 – The Philadelphia House Delegation today released the following statement regarding the passing of former state Sen. Milton Street. “We are deeply saddened by the death of Senator Milton Street, brother of former Philadelphia Mayor John Street and uncle to current state Sen. Sharif Street. Street always showcased an unwavering passion to serve our community, leaving behind a trail of countless contributions to our city. “Leadership and kindness were two of the main traits of former Sen. Street, who also was a tireless activist for the underprivileged. “We extend our deepest sympathies to his family, colleagues and friends. May his legacy be an inspiration for future generations.” Read more

 

Philadelphia Delegation joined forces with Philabundance for day of service and solidarity

(Nov 23, 2022)

PHILADELPHIA, Nov. 23 – State Rep. Morgan Cephas, chair of the Philadelphia House Delegation, and a group of delegation members joined Philabundance Tuesday morning for a day of service and solidarity. The lawmakers helped pack boxes that will be provided to families for Thanksgiving. Cephas said their work at the food bank reaffirmed the commitment of the delegation to ensuring that unserved and underserved families in the city have access to food to celebrate the upcoming holidays. “Our delegation firmly believes that working together makes us stronger, and that aside from advancing important legislation in Harrisburg, it is crucial for us to work alongside residents and local organizations to support our community. “Philabundance has been doing amazing work in our community, and that is why we did not hesitate to join them today when Loree Jones, CEO of Philabundance, extended the invitation. Our delegation will continue partnering with institutions that can help us secure the welfare of our city,” Cephas said. Loree Jones said that the team at Philabundance is grateful to have the support of incredible donors and volunteers. "With over 550,000 people struggling to put food on their table we are working harder than ever to be able to do our part to meet the need.” “To have the support of our legislators will help us not only relieve hunger today but - as we Read more

 

Philadelphia Delegation salutes warm welcome to second immigrant bus that arrived in the city from Texas

(Nov 21, 2022)

PHILADELPHIA, Nov. 21 – State Rep. Morgan Cephas, chair of the Philadelphia House Delegation, today said the delegation stands behind the city’s continued efforts to welcome migrants. Cephas said the delegation is proud of the role that Philadelphia has played after a second group of migrants sent by Texas Gov. Greg Abbott arrived this morning in the city. “Governor Abbot sent another 48 passengers to our city for the purpose of a political stunt, and we are happy to open our arms and dedicate ourselves to their well-being and safety,” Cephas said. “As their harrowing journey comes to an end, we want to make sure everyone knows that innocent people trying to make better lives for themselves and their families will never be punished in Philadelphia.” City of Philadelphia’s Office of Immigrant Affairs and the Mayor’s Fund for Philadelphia have launched the Philadelphia Welcoming Fund to allow Philadelphia residents the opportunity to contribute to local efforts to welcome immigrants, refugees and asylum seekers arriving in Philadelphia. Funds collected by the Welcoming Fund will be provided to nonprofit organizations in the Philadelphia area that are supporting arriving immigrant communities. Read more

 

Philadelphia Delegation participates in a day of service at Philabundance

(Nov 21, 2022)

PHILADELPHIA, Nov. 21 – State Rep. Morgan Cephas, Chair of the House Philadelphia Democratic Delegation, joins members of the Delegation for a day of service at Philabundance tomorrow, Tuesday, Nov. 22. Members will help pack boxes that will be provided to families for Thanksgiving. Those who wish to volunteer must create an account with Philabundance at this link: https://philabundance.volunteerhub.com/vv2/lp/repcephas , signup for the event and sign a waiver form. What: Members of the Philadelphia Delegation will join the Philabundance team to pack boxes for families for the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday. Where: 3616 S. Galloway St., Philadelphia When: 8:45 a.m. to Noon Tuesday, Nov. 22. ### EDITORS NOTE: Media coverage of Tuesday’s event is invited. Read more

 

Philadelphia Delegation announces new leadership team

(Nov 18, 2022)

HARRISBURG, Nov. 18 – State Rep. Morgan Cephas, former co-chair of the Legislative Women’s Health Caucus, has been elected chairperson of the Philadelphia Delegation of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives for a two-year term starting in the 2023-24 legislative session. The delegation also elected Rep. Danilo Burgos as vice-chair and Rep. Malcom Kenyatta as secretary/treasurer. Cephas said that she is looking forward to working with fellow members in the delegation to advance a strategic agenda for the city of Philadelphia. “I feel honored to step into this new role, to be able to lead such a hardworking team. I’m ready to embrace the challenges that this position will bring,” Cephas said. “I can assure all Philadelphians that in this pivotal moment, we are aware of the complex issues impacting our communities, and we are going to keep furthering commonsense policy that can generate lasting impact for our city.” She highlights priorities for the delegation to address include overwhelming gun violence rates, ongoing levels of high poverty, affordable housing, aging infrastructure, education funding, and access to care. Burgos said he feels proud to assume his position in the delegation because it will help him amplify his voice on behalf of underserved residents of the community. “This is really a meaningful moment in Read more

 

Philadelphia Delegation praises coordinated response of the city on the arrival of first migrant bus sent from Texas

(Nov 17, 2022)

PHILADELPHIA, Nov. 17 – State Rep. Morgan Cephas, chair of the House Philadelphia Democratic Delegation, along with fellow members, today thanked city officials for the immediate response and support provided to an estimated 30 immigrants sent to Philadelphia from Texas on a bus that arrived outside the 30th Street Station Wednesday morning. The delegation said its top concern and priority is the welfare of the group of migrants and highlighted that the key words against the backdrop of migrations are collaboration and solidarity. “The most important aspect to take into consideration is to make this group of people feel safe. We all have the right to feel protected and respected; we are talking about a fundamental right.” The delegation applauded the city officials for the humane response and emphasized that once again Philadelphia has proved why it is referred to as the “City of Brotherly Love.’ “We are proud to say that Philadelphia is one of very few sanctuary cities in the country. The Texas officials did not even coordinate with the city, but we opened our doors to them, and we are ready to offer shelter, health care and essential resources.” The delegation also stressed that although Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has stated that he will continue sending buses to other cities, because he understands that the government keeps allowing illegal immigrants, this is far from that case. “The individuals we welcomed are not Read more

 

Cephas to step down as co-chair of the legislative Women’s Health Caucus

(Nov 16, 2022)

HARRISBURG, Nov. 16 – State Rep. Morgan Cephas today announced that she will be stepping down from her position as co-chair of the Pennsylvania Women’s Health Caucus Cephas said this represents a sweet-and-sour moment in her career as a lawmaker because she is closing a chapter that allowed her to fight for women’s rights at all levels. “I’m proud to say that as the Women’s Health Caucus, we not only fought, but also won many battles together. I had the honor to support this work in Harrisburg and at home, in Philly co-sponsoring legislation aimed to ensure access. We also have made great strides for maternal health in the Commonwealth under the guidance of the WHC in the last two years.” Cephas emphasized the extensive list of the organization’s achievements includes close collaboration with the governor's administration and stakeholders from across the state, which has resulted in a $25 million investment into maternal health and the implementation of the Medical Assistance extension from six weeks to one-year postpartum. “The WHC has played a pivotal role in decisions made at the Capitol. We also worked on the creation of a pathway to certification for doulas through the launch of the Perinatal Doula Certification Program, and improvements in supports for our incarcerated population through the development of the Doula Pilot Program in SCI Cambridge Springs and SCI Muncy,” Cephas said. Read more

 

Bullock, Curry highlight issue of student homelessness

(Nov 15, 2022)

HARRISBURG, NOV. 15 – State Reps. Donna Bullock, D-Phila., and Gina Curry, D-Delaware, held a news conference Monday to mark Student Homelessness Awareness Week and educate the public about the prevalence of students experiencing homelessness in Pennsylvania. In the 2020-21 school year, 32,666 students in Pennsylvania schools were homeless or living without adequate housing. “It’s unacceptable that more than 32,000 of our students have recently experienced homelessness or have dealt with inadequate housing. While that number represents a decrease from previous years, it’s still too high,” Bullock said. “We want residents of the commonwealth to recognize that education provides stability and support to youth experiencing homelessness and is a key to preventing future homelessness. We need to do everything we can to support education and our students.” Out of 786 local education agencies in Pennsylvania, 713 are receiving McKinney-Vento subgrants to abate the challenges in their communities. The McKinney-Vento Act states that an individual or family who lacks a fixed, regular and adequate nighttime residence is considered homeless. Identifying homelessness can be difficult. According to experts, families experiencing homelessness often keep their situation and circumstances hidden from friends, program staff and others. Many families say that they worry about being judged or are fearful of child welfare involvement. Read more

 

Burgos applauds $4.2 million in grant funding for local projects

(Oct 27, 2022)

PHILADELPHIA, Oct. 27 – State Rep. Danilo Burgos, D-Phila., announced today that five Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program grants totaling $4.2 million were awarded for projects that will greatly benefit hard-working families in his district. The grants include: Expansion of Esperanza Health Center-North 5th Street location - $ 5,000. This project will allow EHC to increase access to primary medical care; expand the medication-assisted treatment group medical model for those suffering from opioid-use disorder and substance use disorder; improve our capacity to respond to COVID with testing, vaccinations, treatment, and education; and add new services that address the results of social determinants of health screenings that are done with every patient. Island Caribbean Feast Restaurant - $ 750,000. This project includes comprehensive upgrades to the Caribbean Feast restaurant. All systems will be upgraded, including plumbing, electrical, and HVAC, and the physical expansion of the kitchen to upgrade all cooking equipment and surfaces to support multi-user and multi-event capabilities. Enhanced food storage and end-to-end tracking will be included, and all point-of-sale and remote point-of-sale software will be replaced and integrated. Rev. Leon H Sullivan Impact Center - $5,000. The vacant annex will be renovated in this project, including structural Read more

 

Cephas secures nearly $6 million in grants awarded for local projects

(Oct 26, 2022)

HARRISBURG, Oct. 26 – State Rep. Morgan Cephas today announced that three projects in the 192 nd Legislative District will receive grants from the Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program totaling nearly $6 million. The grants include: Cobbs Creek Foundation, $ 3.5 million. Cobbs Creek Foundation will restore areas along Cobbs Creek, Indian Creek and five unnamed tributaries. The project includes the restoration of degraded stream channel in a predominantly urban watershed. The ultimate purpose of this project is to provide comprehensive aquatic resource restoration. Pennrose Management Company, $1 million. The Good Shepherd Senior II project will construct a residential development for seniors in the Overbrook neighborhood of Philadelphia. Building amenities include a fitness room, management suite and a community room for residents. Shepard Recreation Center, $1.4 million. This project will renovate the Shepard Recreation Center and make improvements to the outdoor site. The recreation building will undergo significant interior improvements, including the installation of an elevator and construction of a new lobby, in addition to improvements to the building's exterior envelope. Improvements will also be made to the sidewalks, playground, basketball courts and tree coverage. “I’m grateful for these much-needed funds that will improve the Read more

 

Fiedler hosts rally for abortion rights on Capitol steps

(Oct 24, 2022)

HARRISBURG, Oct. 24 – Parents, union members, advocates and elected officials from across the Commonwealth gathered in Harrisburg today to rally for abortion rights. The event, called “Abortion Freedom for All,” drew hundreds of people to the Capitol steps just as the General Assembly was about to reconvene for session. The rally was organized by state Rep. Elizabeth Fiedler, D-Phila., Lancaster Stands Up, Planned Parenthood, PA Stands Up, Working Families Party, DSA, Make the Road, We The People and more groups from across the state. Fiedler hosted the event. She said the goal of the event was to join forces and show up in big numbers and make clear that the people of Pennsylvania do not want the General Assembly to tear away their rights. “For 50 years Roe v. Wade was the law of the land,” Fiedler said. “Women like me grew up knowing that my right to control what happened in my body was enshrined in federal law. Now that’s uncertain. We are here today because we believe that each of us should have the freedom to decide what’s best for our families, for ourselves, for our bodies.” "As a Black obstetrician and gynecologist, I feel unquieted by the attack on reproductive rights and reproductive justice,” said Dr. Sharee Livingston, Lancaster area OB/GYN and board member of the advocacy group Patients R Waiting. “Abortion is essential health care, it is safe, and barriers to abortion Read more

 

Pa. lawmakers propose medical debt relief bill
Jan 23, 2023

Philadelphia House Delegation salutes Mayor Kenney’s critical priorities for the city as his mandate comes to an end this year
Jan 11, 2023

Waxman sworn in for first term
Jan 04, 2023

Philadelphia House Delegation announces $7 million awarded to the city to improve traffic safety
Jan 04, 2023

Philadelphia House Delegation unveils three new subcommittees
Dec 21, 2022

Philadelphia House Delegation welcomes $54 million awarded to the city for bolstering law enforcement and services
Dec 14, 2022

Krajewski elected as vice chair to Sentencing Commission
Dec 08, 2022

Philadelphia House Delegation praises the release of Brittney Griner from Russian prison
Dec 08, 2022

Unemployment Reforms Are Needed
Nov 29, 2022

Philadelphia House Delegation expresses condolences after passing of Milton Street
Nov 28, 2022

Philadelphia Delegation joined forces with Philabundance for day of service and solidarity
Nov 23, 2022

Philadelphia Delegation salutes warm welcome to second immigrant bus that arrived in the city from Texas
Nov 21, 2022

Philadelphia Delegation participates in a day of service at Philabundance
Nov 21, 2022

Philadelphia Delegation announces new leadership team
Nov 18, 2022

Philadelphia Delegation praises coordinated response of the city on the arrival of first migrant bus sent from Texas
Nov 17, 2022

Cephas to step down as co-chair of the legislative Women’s Health Caucus
Nov 16, 2022

Bullock, Curry highlight issue of student homelessness
Nov 15, 2022

Burgos applauds $4.2 million in grant funding for local projects
Oct 27, 2022

Cephas secures nearly $6 million in grants awarded for local projects
Oct 26, 2022

Fiedler hosts rally for abortion rights on Capitol steps
Oct 24, 2022